Unicoi Outfitters is north Georgia's premier guide service and fly fishing outfitter, located on the Chattahoochee River near alpine Helen. Look for fishing reports, gear and book reviews, and general musings here from our staff and guides.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

GA Trouting for Beginners

June is a great month to chase stockers with your kids. The GAWRD stocking truck fleet  is running daily and most stocked streams, especially at higher elevations, are still cool enough for a good trout bite. 

Stop in our Helen store for the introductory spincast outfits, terminal tackle, and baits and lures to get you started. We’ll point you in the direction of some good stocker streams to enhance your chance of success.

In return, here’s our simple recipe for anyone new to trout fishing. Start with stockers on bait or lures. When that fishing method gets too easy, then come back to us and we’ll teach you flyfishing.  How’s that for a deal?

Georgia Trouting 101

1) call GAWRD at 770-535-5498 and ask Lauren for a free trout map.

2) go to GAWRD’s trout page and sign up for the weekly trout stocking list. Also notice the 2023 master list.


3) buy a short (6ft or less) ultralight spincast outfit with 4 or 6 lb test line from your local big box store or tackle shop.  Buy some #10 hooks, a bag of size B split shot, and a jar of Powerbait. Add one shot a foot above your hook. Cover the hook with a doughball of Powerbait. If you want a second bait, buy some night crawlers and put 1/3 of a worm on your hook.  Switch between baits as you fish. Give them what they want.

4) head to a heavily stocked stream of your choice.  (Ex: Cooper, Dicks, Rock, Tallulah, etc) See the list on the WRD trout page. Jimmy’s book is good, too.


Make sure you stay on public land. Walk 100-200 yards below each bridge (likely stocking site) and then slide down the bank to the stream edge.

5) Slowly and quietly stalk the bank upstream (against the current) and toss your  bait above you. Let it drift back toward you as you reel in the slack line. If you have enough weight, you’ll bounce the bottom, and get hung up occasionally. Aim for pools and pockets where fish have some shelter from predators and relief from the main current.

NOTE: if you wade, stream rocks are slick!! You really need boots or shoes with felt soles and a walking stick or wading staff so you won’t fall and get hurt.

6) a “bream tap-tap” signals a bite. Count to five and set the hook.

7) smile and congratulate yourself.

That’s GA Trouting 101: simple, affordable, and fun. Like us, you might get hooked for life! Stop in our shop soon and we’ll set you up for success.

Unicoi Outfitters: Friendly. Local. Experts.


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